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Johnson Watch Enters Week Two

Rosalind Helderman

Have you seen this man?

Though Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson has now been in Africa on county business for a full week, residents still have no clear picture of what he is doing there or how much it will cost them, if anything.

On Saturday, we first brought you the story of Johnson's latest trade mission. Johnson apparently left last Monday, accompanied by at least three other county staffers, even though the county faces an unprecedented budget crisis that has resulted in two-week furloughs for county employees.

The strangest thing about the trip, which his spokesman said was designed to help local businesses connect with opportunities internationally, has been the extraordinary secrecy surrounding it. Johnson's chief spokesman has not been able to give a full list of countries he is visiting, though apparently Cameroon is on the list. He would not give a complete list of county workers who went along nor whether the county is paying for the trip, as it has for all previous such trips.

Despite the publicity, spokesman James P. Keary could provide no more answers today. Asked about the county executive's trip, Keary proceeded to instead launch into a description of his own coming vacation: Keary and his wife plan to visit family in Little Rock for Christmas. The Kearys, are, apparently, thinking about doing the drive over two days, staying the night outside our hometown of Nashville before heading on to Arkansas. They will bring their dogs.

Asked if he could provide details about the executive's trip to Africa, rather than his own vacation, Keary said of his own plans "that's the only trip I really know about."

When asked what day Johnson will return to the county--Keary has been unable to provide the date thus far--he said only "I'll have him call you when I see him."

By Rosalind Helderman  |  December 8, 2008; 3:10 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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This is ridiculously unacceptable!!!!

Posted by: SinnedNoir | December 8, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

With any luck he's gone to overthrow Robert Mugabe, which would mean he would be staying over there.

Posted by: spikemilligan | December 8, 2008 10:40 PM | Report abuse

´╗┐Hmmm. Are you proposing that P.G. County Executive Jack Johnson learned a few tricks from Ex-Lousiana Congressman William J. Jefferson?

Posted by: cwbenson2000 | December 9, 2008 4:37 AM | Report abuse

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